Clarence Williams III, ‘The Mod Squad’ and ‘Purple Rain’ Star, Dies at 81


Clarence Williams III, an actor recognized for portraying Linc Hayes on “The Mod Squad” and Prince’s father in “Purple Rain,” died on June 4. He was 81.

Williams’ administration confirmed his demise to Variety, citing the trigger as colon most cancers.

Williams broke by in 1968 as one of many stars of the counterculture cop present “The Mod Squad,” additionally starring then-unknown actors Peggy Lipton and Michael Cole. He was a mainstay of the collection till its finish in 1973, and went on to have a profession in movie, tv and theater spanning 4 many years.

Williams portrayed Prince’s father in 1984’s “Purple Rain” and had a recurring position as FBI Agent Roger Hardy on beloved TV present “Twin Peaks.” He additionally had a long-running collaboration with director John Frankenheimer, enjoying Bobby Shy in 1986’s “52 Pick-Up,” Chaka in 1994’s “Against the Wall,” Archie within the 1997 TV film “George Wallace” and Merlin in 2000’s “Reindeer Games.”

Born in New York City on Aug. 21, 1939, Williams started his profession in appearing on stage in “Dark of the Moon” in 1957, directed by Vinette Caroll. He additionally starred reverse Geraldine Page in “The Great Outdoors” on Broadway. In 1965, Williams earned a Tony nomination and Theatre World award for his starring efficiency in “Slow Dance on the Killing Ground.” Williams’ different theater credit embrace co-starring with Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard’s “Night and Day” and main Joseph Papp’s “King John” on the Delacorte Theatre.

Williams’ different movie credit embrace “The General’s Daughter,” “Sugar Hill,” “Half Baked,” “Deep Cover,” “Hoodlum,” “The Brave,” “Happy Here and Now,” “The Legend of 1900” and “Life.” More not too long ago, Williams appeared in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” in 2013 as Maynard.

Williams is survived by his sister Sondra Pugh, daughter Jamey Phillips, niece Suyin Shaw, grandnephews Elliot Shaw and Ese Shaw and grandniece Azaria Verdin.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the newest information, comply with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.